The Primaries are Coming, are Women Running in Your State?


There's still an opportunity for women to in increase their representation during this year's mid-term elections.

A new report from Rutgers' Center for American Women and Politics studying the 34 states holding U.S. Senate elections in 2014 shows an opportunity for women to make history. There is a lot more estrogen on the ballots.

Six states (Colorado, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Iowa) will possibly be electing their first woman to the Senate and women of color are running for the Senate in Hawaii, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. 

Hawaii and Michigan might both end up with an all female Senate delegation.  In seven states, the races may involve women running against other women.  It seems we're moving toward equal opportunity in political dynasties:  the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, Michelle Nunn is running in Georgia, as is the daughter of West Virginia's former governor, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capitol.  Kentucky's candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has the distinction of having both a political father and mother.

All told, however, the number of women elected won't exceed the record of those elected in 2010 and 2012. 
Kelly Dittmar of Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics says there is no real fear of dropping numbers.  "We only see progress in women's representation if women put themselves forward as candidates. Whether or not we break new records for female Senate candidates or winners in 2014, we continue to make progress by keeping pace with the increase we saw in women running for Senate seats in the past two cycles," Dittmar told VITAMIN W.  

Currently a record number of women --20-- are serving in the Senate.


Image: Melissa Brewer, Washington DC content strategist on Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)